MrsK's Seasoned Reader Picks

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn

The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn: A Novel
"Forsaking security and an arranged marriage, Tamsen enlists frontiersman Jesse Bird to guide her to the Watauga settlement in western North Carolina....."

In September of 1787 Tamsen's journey begins when her mother informs her, "You must marry, Tamsen and soon. Resign yourself to it being a man of Mr. Parrish's choosing. Whatever burdens it may entail your stepfather means to give you a comfortable life."

Tamsen agrees to dine with Mr. Kincaid.  Looking stunning in her newly crafted dress, she arrives at the tavern with fear gripping her heart.  Once she steps in to the establishment Tamsen's "internal screaming ceases," Not an ogre, after all."  That is until their evening meal is interrupted by one of Mr. Kincaid's slave.  During those brief moments of conversation, Tamsen realizes that she can't go on pretending any longer. Out of concern for Mr. Kincaid's slave, Tamsen voices disapproval.  Mr. Kincaid points out to her that the conversation was not of her concern, "Yet I am--and you should be... The people whose lives and bodies you own, those whose burden it is to see to your every need, they are your responsibility to protect.."

And with that, Tamsen leaves the tavern and so begins her attempts for freedom.  Given a failed attempt in the stable, Tamsen finds herself looking up at Ambrose Kincaid... "Well, now. I've faced down charging bears and starving wolves and murdering Chickamaugas. Reckon the pique of a pretty miss ain't like to daunt me."  What would it take to get away?

Tamsen never thought that it would be her mother that opens the path to freedom.  And yet, when Mr. Parrish shouts, "You are mine, and you will do as you are bid...." Tamsen's world collides with fear and death.  As her mother lays sprawled on the hearth, with her blood spilling out of her, Tamsen is told to get herself decent for another meeting with Mr. Kincaid.  "Tamsen... get the box...."  

Running for help from Sim out in the stable, her fear materializes in a tall form coming at her.... "Easy there."  Jesse Bird helps her to check on her mother, helps her find a place to hide and provides the escape needed.  Their journey is not an easy overland experience.  When Jesse meets up with Cade he learns that there is a search party for Tamsen, that Mr. Parrish claimed that his wife was murdered by someone who abducted his daughter, and that Jesse Bird would be the one to hang.

 With so much to loose, with no one to support the truth, they agree to the decision that, "for better or for worse" they would head for Jonesborough to get married.  Yet, as they pull into the town they had no idea that an uprising was about to take place right before their vows would be completed.  On the run again Tamsen and Jesse discover that wedding vows are not something to take lightly...   

Tasmen and Jesse's peace and joy grows stronger with each day, and yet it remains shadowed by the every increasing threat from Mr. Parrish and Mr. Kincaid.  Beautiful images of their overland journey allows the seasons to unfold as Tasmen is faced with leaps of faith, learning to rely on scripture for strength, and allowing Jesse's strength in God provide safety for her and those she has begun to love and cherish.

"He wasn't easy about the latest turn the hunt for Miss Littlejohn had taken or that Kincaid knew nothing about it...."  When two or more are in agreement, there is a promise of hope.  With joy, the story unfolds with determined vows, "Till death do us part, according to God's holy ordinance. He'd been unable to stem the tears, seeing his joy reflected in her weary, happy eyes. And thereto I plight thee my troth."  Vows that would lead them to a renewal, a retreat for the winter within the safety of a Cherokee village.  That blessing of a moment in time to be strengthened and free would prove to be the seed of strength for the final moments leading to the end of Tasmen's pursuit.  "Whatever name Jesse chose, he was hers, and she his, and what God had joined together, no man---kin or otherwise---would ever put asunder."
Really Liked it

Lori Benton, Author
Lori Benton was raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American and family history going back three hundred years. Her novels transport readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history, creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier, brought together in the bonds of God's transforming grace. When she isn’t writing, Lori enjoys exploring beautiful Oregon with her husband. For more information about Lori Benton: Author Bio

"I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I will be swapping this book at book club Saurday...

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